Serendipitous. Rob happened when I least expected . . . Him. It. Anything. Well, that's not entirely true; I was expecting a private date that day, a last-ditch effort sort of talk with my long-time boyfriend, just the two of us in the silent restaurant before the lunch crowd showed up, hungry for the exotic and plenty of it. I arrived first, let myself in through the back door, and waited in the dim light. Not just one fellow showed up; three did. One cavalier introduction was the anticlimax of an emotional four-year investment: "This is Jeff. This is Rob. They're from my English class. Just thought I'd invite them along." What a nerve to clutter up our save-the-relationship date! But how infuriatingly, beautifully, unexpectedly lucky for me.
Precipitate. Is it any wonder I love fortune cookies? Rob cracked open a crunchy cryptic oracle in some other restaurant, shortly preceding our awkward meeting. He had been lately imported from a former life and wanted to cut a fresh path for himself, try out a new persona, but the wisdom of randomness warned him: "Don't change too quickly." He let himself fully feel the significance of this, and so, obediently, did not shy away from the kind of friend who had the spirit of long-haired intellectualism and would invite him to crash a lunch date at a Hare Krishna restaurant.
Wallflower. I admit that I did it on purpose. For once I tried to inspire his annoyance so he'd punish me with the evening to myself. He'd prefer agonizing over a book to going out anyhow. It was a relief to us both. My roommate and I hurriedly dressed for a campus benefit concert; I actually felt cute. Even better, I felt liberated! We were both giddy with fun, surrounded by friends. Rob was there, as I'd hoped, but seemingly with a date; my heart sank. My girlfriend and I danced together, and with anyone else who would join us, with a dizzying energy. Never mind, I thought. Never mind anything, tonight I am free. But notice me, why don't you, Rob! My roommate and I were among the last to leave at the end of the night; we dawdled, talked with musician friends, yawned, wished for more. While my friend occupied herself with some final flirting I walked the perimeter of the ballroom. Someone slipped up behind me, spun me around and dropped me right off my balance into a low dip. Rob. Barely an inch from my face. He held me there for what seemed like breathless forever, his eyes driving into mine, my heart pounding like a great drum. Then he lightly set me on my feet and, without a word, raced off into the night. He left me drunk in the head, and famished.
Patina. Rob and I married on Krishna's birthday without intending to. The devotees we knew told us it was "an auspicious day" for a wedding. I think loving somebody more than (non-Krishna-kosher) garlic and onions, and even more than bread and water and life, is far more promising. This man of mine is such an excellent meal. He's a loaf of earthy bread, a bowl of bitter greens and strong cheese, a pot of lovely curried daal that's had a day or two to mellow, fresh concord nectar. Rob, you grow more delicious every day.
Becca: irreconcilable / flaming / instrument / purpose /multitudinism
Chemical Billy: panorama / security / vessel / teamster / sentiment
J'oga: flash / sandwich / hourly / rescind / convincible
Joh: concocts / abundant / sphagnum / comprehensively / musical
And any other friends who'd like to play: gopher / simulate / orange / exchange / prove